1,100 Words

3-D scan of Australopithecus sediba

Fossils, Now in 3-D

This 3D scan of the fossilized hand of Australopithecus sediba, a human ancestor whose two-million-year-old remains were discovered in a South African cave, is one of nearly 9,000 fossil scans available for download at MorphoSource.org. Visitors to the site can zoom in or out and rotate the fossil scans, download them and even make their own physical copies to hold in their hands using 3-D printing. Developed by evolutionary anthropologist Doug Boyer, assistant professor at Duke, the MorphoSource archive contains scans of more than 500 extinct species from over 70 institutions, including several iconic human fossils for use in the classroom.